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#1 classic

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Can anyone advise generally from their experience what acceptable levels of customer complaints are? ( in complaints per million.) At what level would complaints be considered unacceptable.

Thanks


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#2 D-D

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Probably difficult to answer - one complaint due to a pathogen or piece of glass being found in a food product would be a lot more significant than say a hundred complaints about the carrier being late delivering...


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#3 SLadd

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

While I agree with D-D whole heartedly, I have this thought to offer.
When I do my annual review I like to turn the percent complaints around and call the inverse percentage our customer satisfaction rate. For example if we have 0.5% complaints when calculated per million I'll call that 99.5% consumer satisfaction rate. which sounds great, right?

If half of your customers are complaining, you have serious problem. You want to provide the best possible product to remain competitive in your market. In a perfect world you would have zero complaints. Your question sounds to me like you are getting into an area in which you are getting uncomfortable with your complaint level and no one else seems concerned. If your customers start threatening to leave due to issues that's unacceptable, but you don't ever really want to be in that situation. I don't think there's really a standard acceptable complaint level, everything depends on the standard your company sets for itself.

If you are a farely established company you can look at your complaint rates over the last few years and pick a reasonable goal to improve them by. For example - say you currently have 10%, last year you had 12% and the year before you had 15%. For next year, decide as a company you are going to make efforts to reduce your complaints by 2%. Hopefully you are dealing in fractions of percentages but you get my drift.

If you are just getting started you're going to have to just start keeping track. If you can't feasably respond to every single complaint, set a trend goal - if you get three complaints on the same product, research that one. Find out why it happened and make changes to prevent it from happening again. Keep track of all your complaints this year, make efforts to not get any more for those reasons and make a goal to reduce them again next year.


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#4 chilly

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Can anyone advise generally from their experience what acceptable levels of customer complaints are? ( in complaints per million.) At what level would complaints be considered unacceptable.

Thanks


Of course the ideal is zero complaints/claims per customer. Customers are ranked ABC say by volume of purchases - high volume + high value complainants are handled swiftly as part of risk minimisation. Still "acceptable levels" remains a seed for substandard work-culture. Downward trending or throttling of the causes is the only real world philosophy against potential customer loss.
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#5 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

Hi Classic, in truth it is not possible to really answer your questions directly although they are very valid questions. The answer to your questions depends on the internal policy of your company, objectives and targets set and the demands of your customers. For example, complaints per million is a quantative measure of performance (which is ok) but does not reflect the nature of the complaints. 100 complaints per million may be fine if they all relate to 'I dont like the colour of your packaging'. 1 complaint in a million for 'I was badly injured by glass in your product' is unacceptable. It is the same measure but both with very difference levels of acceptability.

IMO 'acceptable complaints levels' as an absolute measure (per million) is of limited value in the context of food safety management. It can tell you if a volume change in production is leading to an adverse change in the rate of compliants which while valuable to a degree it is not what you need to be focusing too much on.

Customer Complaints are one of the most important data inputs into your food safety system. I have often said that as food safety specialists were are more often subject to a lack of clear information than anything else. A complaint is never welcome but when they come (and they will) they offer us clear, direct and unambigious data on how were are performing. They can be early warning alarms letting us know of problems that may be developing and otherwise hidden from our view.

So Complaints are all about management. Smart, professional, and deliberate management! Complaints are your best friend, so spend some time hanging out with them. Design your complaints management system well. Here are some pointers for you:


1. Have a clear policy to handle complaints.

2. Record ALL complaints in detail including by compliant type, product, and production line. Record nature of complaint, from whom, quantity, batch number, dates etc....

3. Have a procedure whereby any increase in any of these should trigger an invesigation.

4. Is each complaint product specific or can it affect other products.

5. Assign categories for complaints - high, medium, low or critical, non critical. For example foreign body, illness reported type complaints are serious so you should always investigate. A developing trend should alway be investigated.

6. Record investigation and corrective actions.

7. Monitor and trend compaints. Not just the total quantity per total produced. Break it down by type, source, product, customer etc and investiage when a shift takes place.

8. Set improvement targets to reduce or eliminate certain types of complaints and measure your progress and performance.

9. Report all this to management. Review and take improvement actions.

10. And when you have done all this, sit back for a while and then look at compliants per million.

I hope this helps,

George









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#6 bibi

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

Hi Classic, in truth it is not possible to really answer your questions directly although they are very valid questions. The answer to your questions depends on the internal policy of your company, objectives and targets set and the demands of your customers. For example, complaints per million is a quantative measure of performance (which is ok) but does not reflect the nature of the complaints. 100 complaints per million may be fine if they all relate to 'I dont like the colour of your packaging'. 1 complaint in a million for 'I was badly injured by glass in your product' is unacceptable. It is the same measure but both with very difference levels of acceptability.

IMO 'acceptable complaints levels' as an absolute measure (per million) is of limited value in the context of food safety management. It can tell you if a volume change in production is leading to an adverse change in the rate of compliants which while valuable to a degree it is not what you need to be focusing too much on.

Customer Complaints are one of the most important data inputs into your food safety system. I have often said that as food safety specialists were are more often subject to a lack of clear information than anything else. A complaint is never welcome but when they come (and they will) they offer us clear, direct and unambigious data on how were are performing. They can be early warning alarms letting us know of problems that may be developing and otherwise hidden from our view.

So Complaints are all about management. Smart, professional, and deliberate management! Complaints are your best friend, so spend some time hanging out with them. Design your complaints management system well. Here are some pointers for you:


1. Have a clear policy to handle complaints.

2. Record ALL complaints in detail including by compliant type, product, and production line. Record nature of complaint, from whom, quantity, batch number, dates etc....

3. Have a procedure whereby any increase in any of these should trigger an invesigation.

4. Is each complaint product specific or can it affect other products.

5. Assign categories for complaints - high, medium, low or critical, non critical. For example foreign body, illness reported type complaints are serious so you should always investigate. A developing trend should alway be investigated.

6. Record investigation and corrective actions.

7. Monitor and trend compaints. Not just the total quantity per total produced. Break it down by type, source, product, customer etc and investiage when a shift takes place.

8. Set improvement targets to reduce or eliminate certain types of complaints and measure your progress and performance.

9. Report all this to management. Review and take improvement actions.

10. And when you have done all this, sit back for a while and then look at compliants per million.

I hope this helps,

George

:clap: George
your explanation is very useful, opened for me some hidden parts.
we do trend analysis /twice a year . We put %of costumers reduction complaints as one of the safety and quality objectives.
thanks again
bibi
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#7 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

:clap: George
your explanation is very useful, opened for me some hidden parts.
we do trend analysis /twice a year . We put %of costumers reduction complaints as one of the safety and quality objectives.
thanks again
bibi



Sounds good bibi. But remember the value of customer complaints is often hidden in the data and needs to be extracted. You need to consider the time required to this.


G
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#8 Ian R

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:47 AM

Hi Classic
Many of the pitfalls and problems of looking at the 'limit for complaints have been discussed already.

Of the retailers I have worked with each had their own views on the acceptable level based on CPM these have been
40 cpm for a chilled product
100 cpm for a bakery item

Hope this helps

regards


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#9 classic

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Many thanks for the discussion. It's that time of year to write the yearly report on complaints for last year to senior management. Complaints have increased but then so has production. Our complaints are mainly to do with personal preference and are often unjustified. Our FB complaints are low and its always difficult to prove the cause. The level of risk was introduced last year. I was looking at setting some form of complaints level reduction as an objection for this year. Hence the question.



Regards


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#10 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

Many thanks for the discussion. It's that time of year to write the yearly report on complaints for last year to senior management. Complaints have increased but then so has production. Our complaints are mainly to do with personal preference and are often unjustified. Our FB complaints are low and its always difficult to prove the cause. The level of risk was introduced last year. I was looking at setting some form of complaints level reduction as an objection for this year. Hence the question.



Regards



Classic - an excellent tool to help you set complaint level reduction targets is Parato analysis, I'm sure you are familiar with this statisitcal tool however if you would like more dicussion on the topic let me know.
George
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#11 Tony-C

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:04 AM


Can anyone advise generally from their experience what acceptable levels of customer complaints are? ( in complaints per million.) At what level would complaints be considered unacceptable.

Thanks


It would be useful to know which product category you're talking about. I have seen figures quoted from < 10 to < 100 per million units.

Generally this sort of measure is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in a business and regularly reported so that management are able to identify adverse trends and act accordingly. It is a much better indication than reporting by complaint numbers alone.

I have been involved in many projects to improve product quality and reduce food complaint levels. One of the best tools for indicating where action for improvement needs to be applied is by analysing your complaint data appropriately.

Whilst you can identify faults in your factory your customers are your 100% inspection service so respect their feedback. Whilst all of your customers will not complain when they find a problem so you will not capture all of your product faults you will however identify trends.

The first step is to collate all of your complaint data. Your data should then be categorised by product type, complaint type and size. Analysing complaints by numbers alone will not give you a real picture of your performance. What you need to know is the proportion of complaints you are getting for each product. By far the most practical way of doing this is by using the sales volumes to calculate the proportion of complaints you get for each product. Some people use weight or volume such as complaints per tonne or 1000 Litres. My preference is to use complaints per million units.

So you analyse your complaint data product type, complaint type and size per million units. From this data you can easily spot the worst performing product lines.

 

Further information can be found in my blog: Using Trend Analysis to Reduce Complaint levels

Regards,

Tony


 


Edited by Tony-C, 06 December 2014 - 06:40 AM.
Added link to blog

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#12 p.ramadoss

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:51 PM

Basically acceptable Customer Complaint-CCo Rate depends on the product and level of your Quality Management System QMS. The ultimate aim is to keep the rate to minimum level. I suggest on calculating the rate of CCo especially on the quality of the products seperately since they are considered as critical complaints. 

 

For me acceptable rate of CCo related to quality would be less than 1%. Rate of CCo can be calculated based on the internal needs-(For eg. Number of complaints divided by the number of orders) or Rating can be given to each CCo and final rating per year or month can be fixed based on the internal objective to be achieved.


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#13 Ian_K

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 01:50 AM

Hi all, I am trying to find some information in helping to set customer complaint rate for a new production line.

 

Our sister company has several establish production lines with substantial production output for us to measure customer complaint rates. We measure by ppm, which means no. of cases versus no. of production output.

 

Presently we have another factory being set and up-running for less than 2 years. The 1st year we do not receive any complaint and this year, with additional 1 production line to this factory, we receive total of 2 cases. Our management wanted to set KPI for all our factory of 10% reduction rate.

 

I think this is not applicable to the newly setup factory. Being a new factory, we are still monitoring the stability and execute improvements.

 

What should I base on and counter propose to my management ?

 

Appreciate opinions.

 

Thank you.

 

Ian_K


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#14 Tony-C

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 06:48 AM

Hi Ian,

 

If you are making the same products and have the same customers then the sister factory is the benchmark. It is not unusual to get teething problems with a new factory which can lead to complaints but, unfortunately for you if they had no complaints in the first year of manufacture then 2 cases in the second year then less than 2 cases* would seem to be a reasonable target.

 

*Pro rata based on number of cases produced.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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